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The Corporation

Posted: 29/01/09

Beacon status for West Nottinghamshire College

West Nottinghamshire College is celebrating after scooping an education ‘Oscar’.

The College has become the first in Nottinghamshire to gain Learning and Skills Beacon status, which recognises excellence and innovation within the further education and skills sector.

Representatives of the College celebrated the achievement at a special awards ceremony at The Gibson Hall, London, on Monday 26 January 2009, where further education minister Siôn Simon MP presented a certificate of Beacon status.

Awarded by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS), Beacon status celebrates learning providers that are outstandingly managed and deliver outstanding teaching and learning.

Only those institutions that achieve Grade 1 (outstanding) for Leadership and Management in their Ofsted report and no less than Grade 2 (good) in all other inspection areas, coupled with strong financial health, are eligible for Beacon status.

Last year West Nottinghamshire College was awarded Grade 1 (outstanding) across all categories by Ofsted inspectors, which places it amongst the top-performing colleges in the country.

Also one of the largest colleges in the country, it provides education and training to more than 25,000 full and part-time students and has four Centres of Vocational Excellence within construction, logistics, engineering and social care.

Asha Khemka OBE, Principal and Chief Executive of West Nottinghamshire College, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that the College’s outstanding contribution to further education has been recognised in this way.  It is an honour and a privilege to become a Beacon college, which shows we are setting the highest standards in leadership, management and performance across a range of areas.

“Above all, it cements our reputation as one of the very best colleges in the country.  But we are not complacent – the challenge now is to strive for even greater success.”

As a Beacon, the College will be required to work with LSIS to share its expertise and good practice with the rest of the learning and skills sector.

Siôn Simon MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Further Education, said: “This is an outstanding achievement.  In today’s economic climate, the more we can all do to promote and celebrate the excellence that exists in further education and skills, the better. 

“I would encourage all Beacons to work with LSIS to share their expertise and good practices to help drive up the performance of the whole sector to the high level that they have attained.  Our students, learners and employers deserve nothing less.”